Chapter 103 - The Berbery Wars
Numidia (French Algeria), August-January 1477/78: The Berbery war, as it was called, starts with the quick French capture of the city of Algiers, belonging to the distant Kingdom of Tlemcen, that was falling in ruination in this period. The French, it quickly becomes clear, have chosen their timing of invasion perfectly - the Emirates of Tlemcen and Bejaia are both under severe periods of discord, and rapidly, the other two most important coastal cities of Algeria, Annaba and Oran, also fall. From the on, it becomes a true slog for the French, but surprisingly, they are rather successful, as many Berbers join the invaders and convert to Catholicism for a place under the new rule. From the Coast, the French spend months, shaking off resistance in the Tell-Atlas, but more and more cities fall - Tlemcen, Abbes, Sidi Bel, Setif, Constantine and Batnas all see the French banner. The French themselves are rather surprised at it all - they didn't expect Algeria to fall this quickly. The Crusade is a resounding success, and King Louis is given the titles of "King of Algeria, Numidia and Kabylia", and Jean of Brittany leads a French effort in conquering the plateaus between the Tell Atlas and the Saharan range, and, even if the campaign is dimmed by the death of the Duke during a patrol, the French arrive at the Saharan range, where they stop. King Louis, whose forces are already stretched thin, knows that he can't go much further. He leaves Algeria, not before founding Notre-Dame d'Algiers, which is made the capital of his African domains, and the Duke of Nevers is left as "regent of Numidia", the ancient Roman name for the region. In Marseille, the French conduct a triumph similar to the ancient Roman ones, and the victory is celebrated. Many Frenchmen, Savoyards, Corsicans, Ligurians, Swiss and Milanese take up the French offer for settlement in Algeria, with the first stream of settlers leaving for the new provinces in January.

Louis himself, who has grown much, both physically and mentally, from the war, returns to his wife, Magdalena, who herself has grown. While still perhaps not the "Greek" beauty of her sister, Magdalena too has grown. She has developed an healthy appetite, and her puberty rocked her. While many of the more "anti-English" members of the court start commenting that the Queen looks more like a whore, a nursemaid or a cow, Louis himself is delighted, and despite holding his urges, the King and Queen take a small retreat to the Loire, which Louis calls "our little honeymoon".

Northern Italy, November-December 1477: Ludovico Sforza, Count of Mortara and Duke of Bari, and his sister-in-law, Maria d'Orleans, make a powerful union. Despite initial disagreements, the two come to an accord: Ludovico will be the state-holder and military leader, while Marie will lead the diplomacy of the state and raise her children. Despite Mortara's engagement to the bastard daughter of the English King, it is clear to everybody in Milan that the French alliance is the most useful one - with Savoy tamed, and Genoa theirs, both Mantua, Modena and Venice are viable targets of expansion eastwards. Bergamo and Brescia, Venice's Lombardian possessions, are looking vulnerable, however. But firstly, the home front must be assured. Ludovico's spies soon uncover the conspiracy behind the death of his brother - some of Milan's oldest families, such as Visconti remnants, and others, republicans, mostly, and friendly to Venice, are ratted out by other conspirators. Il Moro's revenge is swift and brutal and soon, Ludovico announces that Venetian money was in on the conspiracy.

It is to no surprise, then, that the Venetians, high on their victory in Lepanto, where the Ottomans, after a long siege riddled with disease, are forced to retreat from Morea, do not expect Milan's swift reaction. Before the month is over, Ludovico and the Milanese army, reinforced by several Condottieri, lay siege to Brescia and Bergamo both. Riders are sent to both Savoy and France, from which the Milanese hope to get reinforcements, and the Duke of Bourbon, who had been regent for his nephew during the invasion of Algeria, send overs five hundred gendarmes and some cannons. It isn't much, and all that Bourbon can promise is that once the King is settled back in France, more help will arrive, but it is enough for Ludovico, who with French cannons, manages to seize Bergamo in time to go back to Milan for Christmas. The Siege of Brescia continues, however, and the men settle in for the winter.

Mauritania (Portuguese Morocco), December 1477: After a long siege, the Portuguese take Marrakesh, the last holdout of the Wattasid dynasty. In a true upheaval, in a single year, the Dar Al-Islam as lost on two fronts. Ferdinand of Braganza is rather happy with this achievement, even if it has cost Portugal in blood and lives, for Portugal's rule now descends over all of the Moroccan coast and all the way to the High Atlas. Beyond, only Agadir lays under Portuguese control, is true, but the interior is decrepit and many different tribes fight for control over Morocco over the Atlas. As a gift to his wife, whom arrives in Fez with the young King, Duarte, in December, where Al-Abeida Mosque is turned into the "Cathedral of Our Lord of Mauretania". With resistance in the countryside, the Portuguese are forced to be tactful with the local muslims, who, despite despising their new Christian overlords, surely welcome the new sense of peace and order they bring. In the new Cathedral, Duarte is crowned "El-Rei of Portugal, Algarves and Mauritania", following the example of the French. Many Portuguese soldiers, and even many mercenaries from Northern Europe, Italy and Spain are settled in the new lands. Young Dinis of Viseu is given a young daughter of the defeated Wattasid Sultan, who converted to christianity, as a wife, although both are children and the marriage is not consumated. The girl, who is given the name Maria Fatima, becomes a quick companion to both Duarte and Dinis, and despite Dinis' sickness, the children go along very well.

Southern Italy, December 1477: Ferrante of Naples is a troubled man. The French have brought the Barbary pirates in Algeria to heel, the Milanese are attacking the Venetians in the North, the Pope is having an heart attack, and his allies are either far away, like Edward, or desire his own throne, like Ferran of Aragon. Italy is slipping out of his grasp, he knows this, but like the French and Portuguese, maybe glory can be found elsewhere. Naples' navy is still, by far, the most powerful in the Meditteranean, even if the French and Aragonese spare no expense either. He receives some good news, at least - the Albanians, who are tired of looking for a King who is not Ferrante, offer him the crown of Albania. Ferrante decides that to do good by his new subjects - and perhaps earn some glory on the way, is the path forward. The Neapolitan, despite the winter, cross the Adriatic with ten thousand men, and the Ottoman army retreating from Morea is rocked by the joined Napolitan-Albanian army. Surprisingly, it is a success, and soon, Ferrante controls land as far as Kosovo and is starting to conquer Epirus. The fact that a massive Ottoman army is coming his way doesn't deter him - he needs the glory, and his own numbers aren't so small in the advantageous Epirote terrain. Besides, when his fleet beats the Ottomans near Lepanto, he gets full control over the sea, and can supply himself easily. Now he just has to wait.

Austria, January 1478: Emma of Burgundy gives birth to a son - Ernest of Habsburg and huge celebrations happen all over Vienna. With the birth of an heir to his son, Frederick, Holy Roman Emperor, is more secure than ever in his alliance with the Poles. The joint invasion is programmed for March, when Spring shall turn. Emma of Burgundy and Maximilian, who is preparing the Austrian army for war, especially attempting to emulate the Swiss in what he calls the Landsknecht - an Austrian variation of the Swiss Militia Pikemen. The Poles are rather shifty at the Archduke's experiment, but he himself is certain that it will work. His men, who come from all over Germany, are disciplined, use more shot than Hungary's Black Army and more than anything, are numerous and ready. For Emma, who begs her husband to put another child in her before he departs, it is all too much, but all she can hope is that "mon cher Max", as she speaks in her native French, returns home.

England, January 1478: Edward is fuming. For the aging English King, for Edward the Lusty, Edward the Procreator, Edward the Ravager, Edward of the Thousand lovers, fuming is not something he does much. But there is one thing that Edward loves more that fucking, certainly, and that is fighting. While his nephews, Duarte and Philip, are gaining glories in "Mauritania" and "Numidia" respectively, and while his other nephew, Jean, died a Crusader's death on the sands of the Sahara, Edward's prestige - and thus England's, is decreasing. Many point to a new generation of men, more virile, robust, stronger, braver, over the sea. Then they point to Edward, who's faced setback after setback, and to his own heir, his own Prince of Wales, who's barely starting to get along with his wife and prefers his dreams and his philosophies over diplomacy and the sword. For Edward, despite Richard's council, is it all too much. He shall have a glory - he shall have victory. He doesn't have many avenues, however, with Scotland tamed and the French still uncaring about him. So, he decides, that Ireland - that nasty island who has dared to defy him time and time again, is the perfect place of his ambitions. Besides, English authority over his barons there needs to be "reassertained", while much of the Island is still independent. Besides, he thinks to himself, if he can control the whole island, he, like the little French King or his own little nephew can get another Kingly title - and why should he be content to be Lord of Ireland, when he can be its King?

Fellers are sent out all over England and Wales to prepare - Before April, the men must have mustered.
 
Chapter 104 - War Problems
February 1478: The lack of appetite for war becomes very noticeable when no one responds to Edward's calls for preparation. Edward IV, infuriated, prays that his nephews lose all prestige they gained in their fighting. While Philip ends up dying of a successful assassination attempt, Duarte's glory only shines brighter: as commander, he is now known as "The Undefeatable" for his flawless strings of military victories.
 
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February 1478: The lack of appetite for war becomes very noticeable when no one responds to Edward's calls for preparation. Edward IV, infuriated, prays that his nephews lose all prestige they gained in their fighting. While Philip ends up dying in battle, Duarte's glory only shines brighter: he is now known as "The Undefeatable" for his flawless strings of military victories.
1. You didn’t claim.
2. Philip of Burgundy? He’s not fighting anyone?
3. Duarte is ten years old. Not fighting in battle.
 
@Reyne, I doubt Emma would name her son Ernst. She's still the granddaughter of Philip the Good, so she'd name her son for her grandfather, most likely.
Maximilian has NO reason here for NOT naming his son, heir of Austria, after his own grandfather and the choice of how naming his firstborn son here belong exclusively to him
 
January 1477: In Milan, Dowager Duchess Marie and the Duke of Bari assumes the regency. Surprisingly, a bride for the Duke is found in England (by the advice of the Pope). Jacquetta Fitzroy, who is almost as beautiful as the famous Elizabeth Fitzroy (whom all of Europe is trying to imitate), is betrothed to be the Duchess of Bari and is in fact very happy about it. The two are married by proxy. She will arrive in 1480. In the mean time, she is instructed by Queen Eleanor, her stepmother who loves her dearly, on how to live respectably and help manage a court.

February/March 1477: The Queen of Castile finally gives birth to a son, christened Juan. Catalina is relieved, but notices that her son is abnormally small, he isn’t growing, and finally, one sad day in April, his little body is found in his crib. Catalina and Alfonso are devastated. On the contrast, the Queen of Aragon gives birth to a thriving daughter named Juana. Castilian/Aragonese relations are chilled when Alfonso refuses to be godfather to Juana.

April 1477: Louis XII and the top generals of France depart from the south of France to try to conquer Algiers. Noticeably, it is Elizabeth Fitzroy who is there to wish him goodbye. Rumors fly that the two have had an affair. In fact, Queen Magdalene wasn’t mad at her husband, she was just sick with a case of stomach flu (she recovers fine). And Elizabeth Fitzroy, despite having feelings for Louis, hasn’t done anything.

May 1477: Emma of Burgundy, at 19, is finally married to Maximilian. She’s immediately pregnant and announces this to the Austrian court in July. Her cousin Marie writes to her a congratulatory letter from her remote convent.

June 1477: The Duchess of Guelders gives birth to a daughter named Catherine. Her sister, Eleanor, is married to the Earl of Norfolk. Anne of France, Duchess of Lorraine gives birth to a son named after her brother. Speaking of Louis, his campaign in Algiers is going very well.

Births:
Juan, Prince of Asturias, son of Alfonso of Castile and Catherine of Navarre
Juana, Infanta of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile
Catherine of Guelders, daughter of Adolf of Guelders and Anne Neville
Louis of Lorraine, son of Rene, Duke of Lorraine and Anne of France

Marriages:
Ludovico, Duke of Bari to Jacquetta Fitzroy (proxy)
Maximilian of Austria to Emma of Burgundy
Eleanor Neville to Thomas de Mowbray, Earl of Norfolk

Pregnancies:
Emma of Burgundy, due January 1478
Anne is married to Nicolas of Loraine, Rene’s geandson.
 
Chapter 105 - Marital Relations
France
August 1477
Little Louis of Anjou was born premature and frail. Anne of France is sick with worry for her boy. She castes away all time devoted to diplomacy and aiding her husband in the running of Loraine, and devotes herself to her son. John of Loraine steps out of retirement to give his son and daughter-in-law time to spend with their child. Slowly but surely the boy gets stronger. "I had always known that I must bear children for reasons of state, but I did not think it was possible to love another person as much as I love dear little Louis", Anne writes to her brother. This crisis brings the young couple closer together.

Central Europe
February-April 1478

Archduke Maximilian leads the Austrian army up from Vienna towards Prague. His Landskhenects are well drilled and the morale of the army is high.
However, Corvinus has not been idle he and Queen Catherine and their children have toured Bohemia. The Hapsburgs are justifying their conquest on the grounds of restoring the Catholic religion in Bohemia and wiping out heresy. Hussites of all stripes rally to the crown, afraid Austrian victory will mean their extermination. The sight of King George's daughter, big with child and flanked by her small children, pleading with them to protect her moves many amongst the Czech nobility to tears.
Money and coin are gathered as are soldiers. And this is in addition to Mathais's famous Black Army, fresh off a victory against the Turks. Yes, Maximilian has a well drilled army but it is an army that has never fought a battle. His inexperience gets the better of him and he is lured into a trap and defeated by the canny Mathias Corvinus. Maximilian and his Landsknechts are sent scrambling back toward Vienna. Only Corvinus's need to turn and face the Poles prevents the city from being laid to siege.
The King then doubles around and engages King Casimir's host, beating it in battle, though unlike with Maximilian the experienced Polish monarch and his army are able to retreat in good order.
Corvinus has another trick up his sleeve. He has been in contact with the Grand Princ of Muscovy and invited him to join the war against Poland/Lithuania. He returns to Prague a conquering hero, and learns that Queen Catherine has gone into labor with her fourth child. He reaches her just in time to hold their newest daughter in his arms. She is named Agnes after the Bohemian Saint. Both parents are proud of the other.

France
Winter 1478
Queen Magdalena writes home to her stepmother that she is in love with her husband the King and that he has been the perfect gentleman to her. Queen Elanor is delighted that her stepdaughter is pleased with her marriage. The girl's language, describing King Louis as "my conquering hero, the greatest knight to have every lived", causes still more angst on King Edward's part. Was he not his own daughter's hero? Was the victor of the Wars of the Roses? The Conqueror of Normandy not the greatest knight to have ever lived. Elanor does not like this side of her husband and tries her best to soothe him. Amongst her methods is becoming more available sexually, and perhaps...exaggerating how strong potent and dominant her husband is in certain activities. Courtiers snigger about the loud, and to everyone but the King, obviously exaggerated cries of ecstasy coming from the Royal bedchambers.
Absurd as her actions may be, Queen Elanor is able to clam the King down. She even wins friends at court, who lean on her to keep her husband in a good mood. But her doctors are concerned. Though it has been several years since she nearly died to bring little Anne into the world, her doctors advise her in the strongest terms against getting pregnant again. The Queen, as she confesses to her sister-in-law Queen Joan of Scotland, fears her husband forsaking her for another woman, as he did his first wife, even more than dying. Joan is unmoved but assumes this is the sort of idiocy that could only be motivated by true love, which she obviously lacks with King James.
Joan is pregnant again and none too pleased about it. James at least has been a gentleman about it, showering her with gifts of jewels and dresses and permitting her to visit her family for Christmas. In turn she tolerates his affairs "if some foolish girl wants that drunken fool in her bed I am happy to have him off my hands", and dutifully performs her role at court.

Pregnancies: Joan of Scotland, Due May 1478.

Births: Agnes of Bohemia
 
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France
August 1477
Anne of France's child was supposed to have been born in this month. Instead he arrived in June. Her little Louis has miraculously clung to life and Anne, who had refused to leave his side, finally feels she can return to court. The next week young Louis d' Anjou dies. Anne is broken. "I didn't think it was possible to love another human as much as I loved that little boy", she writes to her brother. Anne shuts herself up in her chambers and refuses to interact with the outside world. She feels her son died because she was a cruel and uncaring mother, a charge that all know to be absurd, but one that is obvious in her own mind. Nicholas tries to comfort his wife but she cannot even bear to look on the father of her child. For his face is what her son would have grown into had he lived, and she can't bear to be reminded of her loss. Knives and other sharp objects are moved from her presence for her own safety.
Nicholas is also broken up about the loss of his son. Duke Jean decides to resume day to day control of the Duchy to allow the young couple time to heal. The couple are reconciled, with Anne explaining her reasons for having been so weary. Through shared grief, their bond grows stronger.


Central Europe
February-April 1478

Archduke Maximilian leads the Austrian army up from Vienna towards Prague. His Landskhenects are well drilled and the morale of the army is high.
However, Corvinus has not been idle he and Queen Catherine and their children have toured Bohemia. The Hapsburgs are justifying their conquest on the grounds of restoring the Catholic religion in Bohemia and wiping out heresy. Hussites of all stripes rally to the crown, afraid Austrian victory will mean their extermination. The sight of King George's daughter, big with child and flanked by her small children, pleading with them to protect her moves many amongst the Czech nobility to tears.
Money and coin are gathered as are soldiers. And this is in addition to Mathais's famous Black Army, fresh off a victory against the Turks. Yes, Maximilian has a well drilled army but it is an army that has never fought a battle. His inexperience gets the better of him and he is lured into a trap and defeated by the canny Mathias Corvinus. Maximilian and his Landsknechts are sent scrambling back toward Vienna. Only Corvinus's need to turn and face the Poles prevents the city from being laid to siege.
The King then doubles around and engages King Casimir's host, beating it in battle, though unlike with Maximilian the experienced Polish monarch and his army are able to retreat in good order.
Corvinus has another trick up his sleeve. He has been in contact with the Grand Princ of Muscovy and invited him to join the war against Poland/Lithuania. He returns to Prague a conquering hero, and learns that Queen Catherine has gone into labor with her fourth child. He reaches her just in time to hold their newest daughter in his arms. She is named Agnes after the Bohemian Saint. Both parents are proud of the other.

France
Winter 1478
Queen Magdalena writes home to her stepmother that she is in love with her husband the King and that he has been the perfect gentleman to her. Queen Elanor is delighted that her stepdaughter is pleased with her marriage. The girl's language, describing King Louis as "my conquering hero, the greatest knight to have every lived", causes still more angst on King Edward's part. Was he not his own daughter's hero? Was the victor of the Wars of the Roses? The Conqueror of Normandy not the greatest knight to have ever lived. Elanor does not like this side of her husband and tries her best to soothe him. Amongst her methods is becoming more available sexually, and perhaps...exaggerating how strong potent and dominant her husband is in certain activities. Courtiers snigger about the loud, and to everyone but the King, obviously exaggerated cries of ecstasy coming from the Royal bedchambers.
Absurd as her actions may be, Queen Elanor is able to clam the King down. She even wins friends at court, who lean on her to keep her husband in a good mood. But her doctors are concerned. Though it has been several years since she nearly died to bring little Anne into the world, her doctors advise her in the strongest terms against getting pregnant again. The Queen, as she confesses to her sister-in-law Queen Joan of Scotland, fears her husband forsaking her for another woman, as he did his first wife, even more than dying. Joan is unmoved but assumes this is the sort of idiocy that could only be motivated by true love, which she obviously lacks with King James.
Joan is pregnant again and none too pleased about it. James at least has been a gentleman about it, showering her with gifts of jewels and dresses and permitting her to visit her family for Christmas. In turn she tolerates his affairs "if some foolish girl wants that drunken fool in her bed I am happy to have him off my hands", and dutifully performs her role at court.

Pregnancies: Joan of Scotland, Due May 1478.

Births: Agnes of Bohemia

Deaths: Louis of Loraine
By the way, I had the child born earlier because the post before yours mentioned the pregnancy a bit sooner so I bumped up the date.
 
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